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Raw Materials - The Decision Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:10 PM


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Raw Materials & Dilbert are of great humor to break the day.
Even ctrl+al+del is available in book/paperback.
Post #987692
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:25 PM


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Steve Jones - Editor (9/16/2010)
I was told recently that the Raw Materials comics that we have run for a little over a year, will be be discontinued recently. This wasn't my decision, but honestly I can understand the decision and didn't fight it.

Phil Factor was the person that brought this idea forward, and has worked with Larry Gonick to bring you a steady stream of comics that have entertained many people, myself included, over the last year or so.

A few weeks ago one of the senior management people at Red Gate asked about the cost for the comics and did not feel that the cost of the comics was in line with the exposure and the reads that they got. This is not to say that Mr. Gonick is charging too much, as I have no idea what a good rate is for a comic. This is more that the cost of the comics, compared with what we see in our web analytics isn't a good return from management's point of view.

This isn't necessarily a final decision, but more an immediate one. If you think that the comics are worth continuing, then I'd urge you to pass the word to friends, get more people to view older comics, and write a letter to Red Gate. You can contact them at info@red-gate.com, and explain why the comics are a great idea.

If there is enough response, I'm sure we can continue this series.


Unfortunately, I understand this, as well. It just sucks that every joy in the world needs to turn a profit in order to be kept. I believe Larry's comics are good enough for syndication, though. You know... Family Circle/Peanuts comic type of weekly syndication.

Me? If I were RedGate, I'd open a new product line of desktop accessories based on Larry's characters. If some dude can sell rocks as pets and a movie can sell a figurine who's head looks like the front grill of an old Chevy, why can't RedGate figure out the potential gold mine here? Calendars (big and small), mugs, water bottles, mouse pads, PostIts, figurines, those funny little statues with a cute saying on them. windup toys, collectors editions of the yearly toons. The list goes on. You could start a whole culture here.

Wake up boys and girls... heh... remember that one company uses a green lizard to sell their stuff. I believe you're missing a hell of an opportunity here. Start thinking about super-bowl-class advertising here.


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Post #987707
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:32 PM


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It is a sad day for me. Raw materials has been a highlight of my week. I relate to a lot of them, the characters have become like friends. I'd buy the calendar. Heck I might even buy more of Red Gates products. His Characters are much better than Geicko's lizard and I at one point bought their insurance. Seems to me there should be life sized cut outs of his characters at places like pass!

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Post #987715
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:48 PM


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gonickl (9/16/2010)
What about having readers (i.e., you guys and gals) pay a subscription fee for the comics themselves? Would it be worth $1 a week to you?


You still have me interested. $52/yr

What if it were more on the level of a magazine subscription? Many of them do $26/yr even though it is 12 issues, there is a lot of content. If you did $26/yr for 52 comic strips that is still 50 cents a strip per reader and you may get more readers of the 3000 to subscribe. Just some meandering thoughts.




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Post #987739
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:53 PM


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$1/strip? I'd be more then happy to subscribe, say, $10/year for a weekly strip, but $1/strip? Yeaaah, no.


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Post #987746
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 5:37 AM


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gonickl (9/16/2010)
I think it's interesting that the sheepization, I mean monetization proposals here were all based on making a tangible object, until I suggested a subscription model. People are so used to getting their bits for free! At this end, it's the same amount of work either way.


Yes it is.

gonickl (9/16/2010)

On the level of compensation, oh yeah, a million times a dollar a week sounds pretty good.


We author types wish!!! @=) It's no wonder people think writing is nifty gig. TV shows like "Murder She Wrote" and "Castle" certainly add to the stereotype.

gonickl (9/16/2010)

how on earth creative people, er "content providers", can make a living from digital output. At present, the internet seems to want to be supported by advertising, which is different from some other publishing media, in particular books. Even cable TV is subsidized by subscriber fees. Magazines and newspapers have always ridden on the backs of their advertisers, though not entirely, since we all did use to pay for those paper objects too. Broadcast TV is all ads all the time.


The IAMTW has been having that discussion a lot lately. So as SFWA (both writing organizations). Publishing houses have been trying to push the traditional 10-15% royalty for writers, while I believe Amazon is going for a 35% royalty model on $1.99 or $2.99 e-books. Which means the writers still get practically nothing. So the writers have been pushing back. In the past few months, several authors have published $8.99-$9.99 e-books. We'll see how that goes.

But, on that note, you really should look at translating the comic into iBook, Nook, Kindle format. For a single paged comic, I'm sure you could get .50-.99 cents per download easy. And that would give you a bigger audience than SSC.

As a fellow writer, I'd definitely be willing to shell out for a subscription.


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Post #988086
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 7:02 AM


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It would be a shame if the Raw Materials comic went poof. I have one of the comics in full color in my cubicle. One that I knew was humorous, but then became even more humorous when I read a thread on nulls and finally clicked on the SQL humor behind the comic strip (Arthur and his null personality).

I would be willing to subscribe, but I have to admit, $1 a comic strip seems a bit steep to me, even through it would only be 4 bucks a month. Doesn't seem so bad that way. So, I guess the price would be a matter of perspective and perhaps the subject of a poll if that was the way to save Raw Materials.


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Post #988124
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 7:13 AM


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The comics might be put up in the Best of SSC and also have their own series - Best of Raw Materials. As one of the readers suggested, maybe one can tie up with let's say, NYTimes to carry Raw Materials in their Circuits magazine that carries the technical blogs of David Pogue.

Comics are fun, and not only are they are great way to kick-start the day/week, they are also a great way to educate, to inform and to create awareness.

I have been actively reading them since the last 5 months or so, and will definitely go back and read the rest as soon as possible.

I pray that the comics are restarted once again, soon.


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Post #988138
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 8:00 AM


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I love Raw Materials. Count me as one of the people who clicks on it first.

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Post #988210
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 8:28 AM


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Brandie Tarvin (9/17/2010)
gonickl (9/16/2010)
I think it's interesting that the sheepization, I mean monetization proposals here were all based on making a tangible object, until I suggested a subscription model. People are so used to getting their bits for free! At this end, it's the same amount of work either way.


Yes it is.

gonickl (9/16/2010)

On the level of compensation, oh yeah, a million times a dollar a week sounds pretty good.


We author types wish!!! @=) It's no wonder people think writing is nifty gig. TV shows like "Murder She Wrote" and "Castle" certainly add to the stereotype.


Hey - those are two pretty good shows.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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Post #988242
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